I’ve had a sort out. Westy has been nagging me to tidy my shelf in our wardrobe and I finally caved in. It needed doing, but I’ve been putting it off.
Putting it off because on that shelf were my maternity clothes. The clothes that I wore when I was pregnant with Ev. The clothes that I attempted to wear when pregnant with Harmie, although half were of no use because we managed to time each baby’s due date in opposing seasons. I have boxed up those clothes and labelled them “charity shop”. We all know what that means. I don’t think I can bring myself to say it, but we all know.
The facts are that Westy and I are very lucky. We’re lucky to have two wonderful, healthy, children. We’ve been blessed beyond my imagination and, although I know that sounds a bit sick in the bucket job, I truly believe it to be true.
I have always wanted to be a mother. Growing up, I loved the idea of having little people to care for. Now that I have them, now that they’re here, I feel like I’ve found my purpose in life. Again, all a bit melodramatic for a Thursday but so very true.
The rose-tinted spectacle wearing part of me genuinely believes that I enjoyed being pregnant. Perhaps if you’d have quizzed me on this during the heatwave in the months prior to Harmie being born, my answer may have been slightly different. And during the last month pre-Ev for that matter, when my bump itched like I was allergic to the very baby inside of me. But, on the whole, I loved it. It was a privilege being blessed with babies that I could nurture and grow.
Giving birth made me feel like superwoman on both occasions. I will never forget the pain, the relief, and the joy, holding each of my children for the first time. The fear as I looked at newborn Ev and wondered if I could look after this precious gift. The amazement as I looked at newborn Harmie and revelled in our family being complete.
Because that’s how our family now feels. Complete. But with that realisation, comes a lot of sadness. I feel sad that I might never hold a newborn baby again. Both of my babies aren’t really babies anymore. Not in the new, milky smell, shrill cry sense. There is so much about the first months of each of them that I can’t remember. The details that I’ve desperately tried to hold on to but which have washed away in a sleep deprived haze. I’d love to claw back a few of those memories, and lock them away.
I feel apprehensive at drawing a line in the sand, marking that chapter complete. But then I look at Ev and Harmie, and I know that the story has only just begun. Because with each day they are growing, changing, blossoming into wonderful little humans in their own right. Together we are muddling through each page and making the words fit as we go.
The maternity clothes will sit in their labelled box, until I have the courage to take them to that shop. In the meantime, I’ll hold my little blessings closer and sniff their heads harder knowing that there’s so much more magic to come.